Ex-FM Mottaki joins Iran's presidential race

Former Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has announced he will run for president in an election in June.

Ex-FM Mottaki joins Iran's presidential race

World Bulletin / News Desk

Former Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has announced he will run for president in an election in June.

The presidential poll is a crucial test for Iran after the last one in 2009 ignited mass street protests in Tehran and other cities after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election.

"I will propose a plan in line with Supreme Leader's beliefs and the people's demands so that in a government with the name of the Islamic Republic, the president would be more than a sympathiser for the people and give something more than a future promise," Mottaki said on his website on Tuesday in a message to Iranians announcing his candidacy.

In a sign that Mottaki may not agree with the Supreme Leader on everything, a note on his website last month criticised "crude" suggestions set out by Iran's nuclear negotiators.

Diplomats and analysts say the defiant position of Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief negotiator, is firmly backed by Khamenei, who has the last word on nuclear and other state policies.

Jalili said two days of talks with world powers that ended in Almaty on Wednesday were a "positive step".

Mottaki is viewed as an ally of parliament speaker Ali Larijani, a conservative who lost to Ahmadinejad in the 2005 election and has since kept up an intense rivalry with him.

Mottaki served as foreign minister for five years until the president dismissed him in December 2010.

Iranian media have suggested that Ahmadinejad is grooming his former chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, despised by conservatives as a "deviant" influence on the president, as his approved candidate, but there has been no official word.

Last Mod: 27 Şubat 2013, 12:08
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